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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 9 Issue 6 (2004) pp 374-377

Spectroscopic Data Management for the Time-Strapped Educator

Aaron N. Hart and Owen McDougal*

Department of Chemistry, Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Oregon 97520,
Received February 20, 2004. Accepted July 9, 2004.

Published online: 18 November 2004

Abstract. We present a data management solution that will save time and facilitate the use of experimental data in the instruction of organic spectroscopy. Our approach provides a method that is electronic, easily managed, flexible, and inexpensive, which was inspired by time limitations, financial shortages, and limited accessibility to high-resolution experimental spectra of organic compounds. This system is based on an intuitively navigable database that was constructed using Filemaker Pro (v. 6.0). It consolidates compound structure; molecular formula; molecular weight; Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) registry number; tracking number; physical phase of solid or liquid; and digital images of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, infrared (IR) spectrophotometry, and mass spectrometry (MS) spectra into a single resource. This collection of spectra is then subdivided by independent educational application, such as homework assignments, student collected data, and examination problems, which are capable of being exported to Web pages, PowerPoint presentations, or Word documents for electronic or hardcopy distribution depending on the needs of the individual instructor. The flexibility of the centralized architecture of the database allows the NMR, IR, and MS spectra of each compound to be periodically reorganized for a constantly evolving curriculum.

Key Words: Computers in Chemistry; organic chemistry; IR spectrophotometry; mass spectrometry; NMR spectroscopy; computer-based; teaching/learning aids; problem-based learning

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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Issue date: December 1, 2004

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